Members of Parliament from the opposition MDC Alliance will not be paid their sitting allowances as punishment for boycotting a sitting on Thursday.
The MPs boycotted a sitting in which Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube presented the Mid-Year Budget Review Statement and Supplementary Budget.
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Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu-PF) complained that the opposition MPs had shown disrespect towards President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was in the House for the session.
House Speaker, Jacob Mudenda ruled that MDC MPs were barred from further attending and would have their allowances for the day forfeited. He said:
Accordingly, as head of this institution, I rule that the honourable members of the opposition shall not be allowed to attend Parliament today, including after His Excellency the President has gone. Related to that, their allowances for today shall not be paid. So I have ruled.
There are two issues that I want to put on record. Firstly, His Excellency is the Head of State and Government and there is a lack of some understanding.
He is the Head of State because he is the embodiment of the sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe without any exclusion or discrimination and his uncontested position as Head of State has been recognised by the United Nations and the international community, let alone the African Union. We have not had any country under the sun that has not recognised the President.
In terms of Section 116 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the legislature consists of Parliament and the President, meaning the President, institutionally, is part of the legislature and that position has to be respected.
This is not the first time that MDC MPs have shown their disdain towards Mnangagwa.
During Ncube’s budget presentation in November last year, MDC MPs refused to stand up when Mnangagwa entered Parliament.
They were subsequently beaten up by the anti-riot police and forcefully ejected from the House with some MPs sustaining injuries that needed medical attention.
The opposition MDC does not recognise Mnangagwa’s legitimacy following last year’s contested presidential election result.